Koru Development are making weekly online drop – in mindfulness sessions available free of charge during the Coronavirus pandemic. With COVID19 in the news and the topic of many conversations right now, many of our clients colleagues and friends have contacted us to say that they feel stressed and anxious about the current situation. In response we’d like to share our Free Managing Your Mental Health During Coronavirus Toolkit We’ll also be offering support by providing a free, weekly mindfulness drop in session.
These are unusual and unsettling times and we wanted to support you for being with us over the years. We’re thinking about you and hoping that you, your family and friends stay safe and well. The free weekly sessions are our way of staying connected and supporting you as best we can through this difficult time. Wherever in the world you are, we’re sending you love and support.
Who is the free mindfulness drop in session for?
The drop in aims to benefit people who are
- Working from home and are finding the transition challenging.
- Finding the constant stream of coronavirus news distressing.
- Self isolating and finding it difficult to cope.
- In an area on lockdown and are experiencing stress as a result of social distancing.
- Working in a frontline role and are under pressure but would like to create a space to press pause.
- If you would like to connect with others and be part of a supportive community.
- Anyone who would like to reduce their stress and build resilience
What to Expect
The free drop in mindfulness sessions will take place every Thursday 4pm – 5pm GMT and consist of a relaxed drop in format. If you can’t make the session for any reason we’ll try and offer an alternative date. Or, if you would like to chat with us over virtual coffee, talk about stress management or just offload to someone, drop us an email and we’ll arrange a date and time that works for you. Each weekly session will consist of:
Input: We’ll talk about the benefits of practice and outline the evidence base for mindfulness. We’ll also reflect on where you are now with a quick catch up.
Practice: Each week we will do one or two guided mindfulness practices, led by Gill.
Reflect: After each practice we’ll reflect and discuss and share any experiences during the practice. During reflection Gill will answer any questions and address any concerns.
Action Plan: Participants who want to continue the practices throughout the week or implement stress management strategies will create an action plan
How to Book
Add the session to the cart (it’s free at £0.00) complete the form with your email address and check out. We’ll contact you with an invite to the session which will be delivered online via Google Hangouts.
Facilitator: Gill Thackray
Gill regularly writes about psychology, wellbeing and mindfulness for publications including The Guardian, Thrive Global, Ultra Sport, Medium & HR Zone. She contributes to international publications on everything from wearing red lipstick to toxic relationships (and of course, psychology).
She is currently writing two books, ‘The Mindfulness Coach’ and ‘The Positivity Coach’ for Michael O’Mara Books due for publication in December 2020.
Koru has been featured in Success Magazine, Refinery 29, She Knows, Dare Magazine, Everyday Power Blog, Accounting News and Stylist Magazine.
Gill regularly speaks at conferences on the subject of leadership, resilience, wellbeing and performance in the workplace. In her spare time Gill runs a small trust that supports refugees on the Thailand/Burma border.
She is a member of the Association of Business Psychologists, British Psychological Society Psychometric Assessor, Institute of Leadership and Management, British Neuroscience Association, International Mindfulness Teacher Association Member, IMTA Certified Mindfulness Teacher Professional Level (CMT-P), UK Mindfulness Association, Chartered Institute of Personnel Development.
Gill regularly presents her research at conferences including;
Compassion & Wellbeing Conference, UK, November 2015. Research presentation ‘Making Mindfulness Work: The impact of Mindfulness interventions on leader stress, anxiety and resilience levels’
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Learning at Work Conference. Presenting ‘Mindfulness at Work’ on expert panel. October 2015
Digital Mindfulness London, June 2014. Mindfulness Keynote
Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, Learning and Development Show Conference, May 2014. Mindfulness at Work.
British School of Osteopathy. Conference Keynote speech March 2013 Performance Management in Practice
Local Government Association. Healthy Workforce, Healthy Communities, October 2012. Mindfulness at Work
Is Mindfulness Right For Me?
The Mindfulness drop in session that we offer at Koru Development are aimed at the general public and are not helpful or suitable for everyone. In some circumstances, we may suggest that you consider either waiting a while to take the course, or that you explore other options, including more specialist mindfulness-based programmes designed for people experiencing specific difficulties, or support from a GP or mental health professional.
Below we outline some of the issues that we have found can limit or prevent people from benefitting from our mindfulness drop in sessions. If after reading the information you have concerns then please consult your medical professional.
Mania, Suicidal Thoughts and Self-Harm
The free Mindfulness drop in sessions offered by Koru Development are not suitable for you if you have experienced a mani or hypomanic episode in the past six months, if you are currently self-harming or if you are currently experiencing suicidal thoughts. It isn’t that mindfulness will not be helpful for people with these conditions – in fact we know it might very well be, but it would need to be delivered in a more specialist
group. If you are feeling suicidal we would strongly recommend you speak to your GP or another mental health professional. We are unable to give specific advice or support to those with individual mental health problems. If you do need to speak to someone urgently, the Samaritans offer
emotional support 24 hours a day on 08457 90 90 90.
Alcohol and Drug Use
Practicing mindfulness through attendance at a Mindfulness drop in session involves completion of daily home meditation practice and other activities and it is essential that this practice takes place when your consciousness is not impaired. If you are drinking a lot of alcohol or using other drugs
please consider carefully whether you will be able to find time each day to complete your practice when you are not under the influence of alcohol, drugs or their after affects. If this is likely to be difficult to you then the Mindfulness course will not be suitable for you at this time.
If you are currently depressed, to such an extent that it is difficult for you to manage your everyday life, it is probably not the right time for you to do the course. We know from experience that people attending mindfulness courses need to be reasonably well.
Recent bereavement – in the past year
If you are recently bereaved it is helpful to have come to terms with some of the grief before beginning mindfulness. It can be difficult to recognise and work with pre-existing and longstanding habits of mind, when the bereavement is still very preoccupying. The 1 year period is a notional time (and people will differ a great deal in when they feel ready to begin a course) but our experience suggests it is often helpful to have gone through all the ‘significant’ dates of the person who has died before moving on to start something like an Mindfulness course.
Other ongoing psychological treatment
Mindfulness is not a ‘therapy’ as such. However, it is often confusing or impractical to engage in two ‘psychological treatments’ at the same time. Mindfulness can involve a considerable time commitment and adding
it on top of another ongoing therapy may be difficult.
During periods of meditation the body may become relaxed and for some people, over time, meditation reduces stress. This may in turn have an effect on blood glucose and insulin requirements and may potentially result in a need for adjustments to pattern of insulin administration and dosage.
Please let your GP or other healthcare professional know that you are doing the drop ins and discuss the suitability with them.